I just filled mine out. Like every other year, it was a waste of time. I had hoped maybe I could finally get work-study or *something* this year, since my college savings account is now empty. Ha.
My 'expected family contribution': $52,000. Scripps' comprehensive costs: $44,000. (I'm lucky in that a merit scholarship functionally brings that down to around $28,000.) Odds of needing large private loans next year: 100%.
The FAFSA screwed my mom over back in the day because they expected farmers to sell off the family farm to pay for their kids' education. (Yeah, right.) They've fixed that, but now I don't get crap because my parents are bothering to save money for my sister's education four years from now and for their retirement sometime later. How silly of them.
Lesson: Never ever save money, because then the feds might give you some.
Ironically enough, I've finally got not one, but two non-work-study-only jobs lined up for next year: I'll be the Scripps Store webmaster and Voice's "Technology Manager." So unless the FAFSA had been nice enough to give me subsidized loans or something, it wouldn't've made a difference. But if I had had work-study for the last three years, I could have been working at the Motley or something making money to pay for senior year; even without tuition increases or my dad switching jobs, we knew from the beginning that my account would dry up this year. Institutionalized financial aid is unfortunately very short-sighted.